Rainelle Matsuoka Excels on Softball Field

Rainelle Matsuoka is one of Chaminade’s leading and most versatile softball players.

She was born and raised on Oahu and is a Kaiser High School graduate. At Chaminade, Matsuoka is a third-year education major with plans to share her knowledge with third or fourth-grade students on the island.

On the field, she is a jack of all trades. She has played all positions, including pitcher, but she has started every game of the 2017 season at shortstop.

Matsuoka and Chaminade’s softball team will play their last game of the season against U.H. Hilo on May 5 at Central Oahu Regional Park.

Matsuoka has the highest batting average on the team this year at .346. This was news to her as she stated “Oh, I do? I didn’t even know that!”

“I think it was just the dedication and sacrifice of my own time,” she said. “I would take the time out of my day to practice on my own, not only with the team but just by myself with my dad and I think he’s had a huge impact on my career here at Chaminade.”

Matsuoka began her softball career at a young age. It was something that she had to adapt to due to her father pushing her into sports but ended up loving the game.

“I started at 8. At first, my dad kind of made me go into sports,” she said. “Then I started loving the game, and it [the love of softball] came from myself.”

At Kaiser High School, Matsuoka continued to excel. She helped her team earn 3rd place at the 2015 OIA championships “I did okay. I went to Kaiser. The competition on that side is not as great as it is on this side so our team was pretty top dawg on the east side. So, we did alright.”

Since she started her career, Matsuoka has at least dipped her toe in every position. In the 2017 season, Matsuoka started in all 44 games at shortstop but that didn’t limit her.

“My favorite? Oh, that’s so hard. It’ has to be like third or short. I really like the left side. But I was actually recruited to be a catcher but my freshman year, I played third, short, second and first and I think I pitched one game but other than that I started at short.”

Matsuoka has also tried her hand at pitching which she did for one game in 2017 against U.H. Hilo, “Oh my gosh, I have not pitched since high school and it was horrible. Oh.”

Matsuoka will graduate with a degree in education in 2019.

In her spare time, she likes to paint do arts and crafts and even enjoys odd foods.

“All of my friends make fun of me because I love natto. … I grew up with it and my dad made me eat it so I started loving it. It’s like this fermented bean…a Japanese traditional food. It’s super good for you. Everyone hates it because it either smells weird or it’s a texture thing because it’s really gooey. I love it.”